Friday, August 26, 2011

How to Store Interfacing So You Don't Ruin It

While it may appear that I have figured out a storage solution to every possible stinking sewing implement, there was a secret I was hiding in the top drawer of my cutting table.  No, not this side:

Button Drawer

THIS side:
Interfacing Drawer of Madness

Not that bad you say?  Your interfacing storage solution is even worse?  Ok ok . . . I'm not gonna fight with you about it.  But I will say that there were several layers of ickiness going on with my interfacings.  Let me break it down:
  • Problem #1: Which one is which?  While I did an ok-ish job sometimes at keeping that dandy little tissue paper instruction page with the interfacings in question, there were still some stray pieces here and there that got moved around every time I shuffled through to see what I had . . . and subsequently became separated from the pack.  Because not every interfacing is interchangeable, not knowing what you're working with is a problem. (They make different kinds for a reason . . . I found this handy chart on all the different types, printed it out and hung it up just to remind me what the best kind is for every kind of job.  Threads also has a pretty thorough looking list of the actual brand names for reference as well in case that whole interfacing section makes you go cross-eyed and/or break out in hives.)
  • Super Creased Interfacing
    My poor Craft Fuse folded down into a bite sized piece of uselessness.
  • Problem #2:  Creasing.  As I understand it, interfacings should be kept rolled and not folded.  Of course this is exactly what I was doing with mine for the longest time because I had no idea what I was doing.  Thank you to the Fields Fabrics lady who rolled up my Wonder Under one time and gave me the side eye that said, "I know you don't realize this, but this should always be rolled up if at all possible."  Yes . . . all of that was said with an eye and she was completely right about me and my awful crease-y ways.
  • Problem #3: Shoving.  This is closely related to #2 . . . and #1 come to think of it.  Clearly this space was not enough to accomodate all the interfacings and battings and fusible fleece pieces that I had . . . why was I trying to torture all of this precious material?  Not only was it contributing to the aforementioned "which piece is which" problem, it was creating even more creasing than my originally ill-advised folding method of storage.
Now realize, I did briefly ponder rolling my interfacings and such around comic book backer boards as I had done with all my other fabrics.  The problem with that?  So glad you asked.  I HAVE NO ROOM.  Also, I have to fold and crease it a bit to fit on the smaller boards which just brings me back to Problem #2.

I'm not going to pretend I came up with this idea on my own . . . I didn't.  But it is kind of awesome in a completely why-was-I-not-able-to-figure-this-out-on-my-own way . . . and since I found very few Google search results that helped get me to this point, I thought I would share that I gleaned this little nugget of joy from a sample chapter of's new book: 1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts and Tips by Deepika Prekash.  I am intrigued after reading the sample chapter and have put this on my must-check-this-out-the-next-time-I'm-at-the-book-store/library/whatever-I'm-just-going-to-add-it-to-my-Christmas-wish-list.  You hear that, Mr. Skooks Santa?  ;)

So some lovely lady within those pages shared this tip:
I have a dedicated sewing room, but storage space is still a problem.  I recently started rolling up my fusible interfacings and storing them in 24" cardboard mailing tubes. I use a dowel to start the rolling process; it makes rolling the lightweight interfacing much easier. I put labels on the outside of the tubes so I can identify the contents (lightweight, midweight, etc.). I store the tubes in a large cylindrical basket along with my rolls of tracing paper. —elaray
Is it odd that I actually said out loud as I finished reading that: "elaray, you're a GENIUS!"?  You're right.  No, it's not.
Interfacing Tubes

Now, I don't have a cylindrical basket at the moment, but I was able to tuck these few tubes I got (thanks, Mr. Skooks!) in the little crevice between my fabric hutch and my rolly cart of goodies.  I've only got 3 at the moment, but I'll get more until every last neglected type of interfacing is cared for as it should be.
Interfacing Storage Tubes

I decided to tape a copy of the instructions for the type of fusible contained therein on the outside of the tube for those moments when I completely brain fart and forget how to interface things properly.  Because you KNOW that happens even after I've done it a million times, right?
Interfacing Storage Tubes Top View

So there you have it.  One more bit of the sewing room bending to my organizational whims.

New problem: what kind of stuff am I going to put in this empty drawer?

For your reference, the tubes I used are 3" in diameter and 24" long which I would say is plenty big enough to accommodate pretty much all types of interfacing as well as a decent sized piece of fusible fleece.


Two Shades of Pink August 26, 2011 at 3:08 PM  

Oh how stinkin smart! And an empty drawer has so much crazy potential, right? Fat quarters or fabric scraps? Unfinshed projects to put out of sight so they don't mock you? Oh and guess what? I am in the process of creating a homeschool/craft room! Can you believe it? A dream come true! It is looking sooooo cute and I think of you constantly while I am doing it. OK. I should probably email you when leaving this long of a comment. :) Hugs my friend!

Ashley August 26, 2011 at 3:27 PM  

Genuis! I never would have thought of that either. LOL I am also guilty of folding my interfacing....I had no idea. Thanks for sharing the useful info. I am going to check that book out! I do envy your other drawer neatness. I am in the middle of an overhaul in that natural disaster I call a sewing room. I hope I can get my desk and room as oraganized as yours. :)

♥Duff August 26, 2011 at 5:59 PM  

Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice! Happy Day! i can empty my JOann's bag of assorted stuff and stop guessing how long to steam the crap out of an unmarked piece of interfacing.

Kathy August 26, 2011 at 9:17 PM  

Wow, who knew -- mine are all folded up in a drawer too. Thanks for the great tip, Skooks Playground -- you're the best!

Erin August 28, 2011 at 10:01 PM  

Your blog is so impressive, I'm going to strive to make mine at least half as cool as yours! Thanks for your feedback!

Amy J September 2, 2011 at 12:08 PM  

Hi Skooks! I just wanted to pop by and say "Hi!" Wow... you have so many amazing ideas here. This blog makes me want to get out my dusty sewing machine!! (i'm not real talented with the thing :) Blessings!

Anonymous,  November 15, 2011 at 1:45 PM  

I so love this idea...I too have so many that are rolled, but hard to find when I need them...this is perfect

Unknown June 22, 2016 at 9:48 PM  

I use the mailing tubes. But how to store them is my dilemma. Any ideas.

Skooks June 22, 2016 at 11:12 PM  

D - I will have to do a follow up post on my massive tube collection and how I store them. Stay tuned!

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